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Use your wine corks for cheap fire starters. Just add a little alcohol on the cork. It works well.
By coville123 from Brockville, Ontario
Editor's Note: Be sure it is a natural cork, not the newer plastic foam corks that are often used instead.
I save our empty toilet and paper towel tubes, stuff them with waste paper and junk mail or even pine cones. Then I melt my small, leftover candle pieces in a old candle warmer, or in a tin can that is placed in a pot of water on the stove just until it melts. I pour the melted candle over the tubes. Make sure you either do this over a garbage can or stack of papers so you don't spill candle wax anywhere! That's a whole other tip! ;)
I use these little firestarters when we go camping to start our fires or even to start our woodburning stove up from a cold start! Makes starting fires a little easier. Kids can help stuff them all year round and dream about summer camping!
By Donna 
Make Christmas gifts by recycling egg cartons and dryer lint! Using a cardboard one-dozen egg carton, fill each hole generously with dryer lint. Using melted scented candles purchased at a yard sale, pour hot wax into each hole, filling 2/3-3/4 full. Let harden.
To use, cut one section from carton, light the cardboard portion, and you've got the perfect fire starter! Great gift for people in cold climates, for parents and grandparents who won't have to find a spot on their mantel to display this year's gift.
By Zoanne from Chugiak, AK
We burn wood, and fire starters are not cheap. My husband laughs at me for some of my cheap ideas, but they work! I use the below in addition to the twigs and leaves and bark that are in the wood pile.
I save dryer lint and stuff it into empty TP or paper towel rolls and use it to start a fire.
Save empty butter wrappers (I first use them to grease cake pans). Store in a bag in the freezer until needed.
Save paper towels that are used to clean up greasy pans or messes as above, store in a bag in the freezer until needed.
By April from NW, MO
Put that stale bag of Fritos to good use. Start a campfire with them. They catch on fire very easily.
By Robyn 
Here are two more ideas:
Source: 43 years of Girl Scout camping.
By Eileen from Elk Grove, CA
We shred our excess paper and use it as a fire starter.
By Grandee from CA
This is also a good seller at bazaars, as the scents draw people to your table!
Note: This is not a project for unsupervised kids.
Source: I found this in a craft book several years ago, but I don't have it anymore.
By Poor But Proud from Sweet Home, OR
We are avid campers. Instead of buying those expensive fire starters, we make our own. Take a cardboard egg carton, fill each cup with dryer lint, melt old candle leftovers and pour into the cups over the lint. Cut them apart and voila, fire starters. These can be put under you kindling. They burn longer and give the fire time to get off to a good start.
By Jodi from Glen Burnie, MD
Save the lint from the dryer in a plastic container. In the winter months when the wood for the fire gets a little damp, use the lint under the kindling to get it started. Works great!
By korlund 
Recycle used toilet and kitchen rolls, fill with newspapers.
We also use a 'Briquette Maker' to make use of old newspapers. Have a look at Amazon for ideas. Make them in the sumer to dry out in conservatory or green house, a little labour intensive but quite relaxing with the tearing and soaking of the papers.
By Katieb from UK
Get a jar that closes with a rubber seal. Put in corks from wine bottles, etc, then fill the rest of the way with denatured alcohol. Be careful not to put in too many corks, since they expand as they absorb the alcohol.
Turn the jar upside-down. The corks on the top will now be on the bottom and totally immersed in the alcohol.
When you want to start a fire in your fire pit, turn the jar right side-up, take a cork that is now on the top - you'll only need one - and use it to start the fire. You'll need to be careful not to set the jar close to the fire, since the alcohol, like all lighter fluids, is extremely flammable.
A container of denatured alcohol lasts forever. The corks are basically free, and you'll be stunned at how great these work.
By Susan P
I found this tip at make-stuff.com, it is a great site.
"Fill an empty roll with dried leaves in the fall. Wrap it with newspaper, 4 inches longer than the roll, and twist the ends of the paper, for easy lighting. If you wrap them with decorative paper and put them in a basket they make a nice accessory to a fire place. They can also be covered with Christmas wrapping paper for the holidays. Contributed by Claycrazy."
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Here are questions related to Homemade Fire Starters.
Does anyone know how long a cork fire starter burns for?
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This is a very inexpensive if not free quaint and useful Christmas gift. You see them in the gift stores for ridiculous prices, why not clean your yard and make lovely presents at the same time.
Gather up pinecones, all except the white pinecones that have pitch on them. Save the ends of used candles and remelt the wax in a foil pan (use as a double boiler). Dip the pinecone in the melted wax to coat it.
You may add fragrance oils, dried crushed herbs, and food color to create a sensory delight. Place the pinecones on a sheet of wax paper to dry within seconds.
Place an assortment of cones in a wicker basket or gift bag. Add bunches of dried tied bouquets of mint, cinnamon sticks, or lavender to give that extra few minutes of fragrance to the fire. People will love it and say how creative and talented you are...not that you are a cheap penny pitcher that makes rubbish look good.
By Live Again from Wiscasset, ME
By Megan's mom
Save lint from dryer, "cardboard" egg cartons (not the styrofoam ones) and old candle pieces or crayons. Put lint in each egg cup. Melt the candle pieces in an old coffee can. Pour melted wax into egg cups. Let dry, break apart and use to start your fires!
By Beejay from Whittier, CA
I've been saving old egg cartons with plans to show my grandchild how to make paper from it since what I have are recycled paper cartons for brown eggs.
You've given me the great idea of using the egg cartons for holding/storing the medium small pine cones we plan to dip in paraffin for outdoor fire starters in our firepit rather than to toss all of those things. I just LOVE to recycle, don't you? God bless you. Thanks, too. : ) (01/26/2007)
Fire starters for camping are easy to make with things you have around the house. All you need is a paper egg carton, dryer lint and wax.
A basket of pine cone fire starters is a wonderful gift to make. It is fairly inexpensive and I have fun making them every year. Carefully melt paraffin or old candle ends in a double boiler and use tongs to dip your pine cones. I sprinkle some of them with glitter and leave some without then set each dipped cone on wax paper to dry.
I pick up very inexpensive baskets and containers at sales all year long. I also get candles at these sales for change, it does not matter if they have already been partially used. If you do not have a few baskets and containers on hand, save this tip for next year.
Source: A friend gave us a basket of fire starters many years ago and she shared with me how to do them. Enjoy.
By Bobbie G from Rockwall